Monday, October 15, 2012

Chipotle Cheddar Ale Soup

If you are like me, sometimes you come across a similar recipe on a ton a blogs and you seriously cannot get the idea out of your head. For me, during the start of this fall and immersed in football season, it was these cheddar and ale soups. Be still my heart (maybe literally from bacon, cheese and beer), but they just looked perfect. Of course, I couldn't decide on one particular recipe to follow so I made an amalgam of them all to come up with this deliciousness.

A few things to remember in order to make this soup work well. First, choose a brown ale or lager such as Newcastle or Bass or Yuengling (nothing too light or too dark, just wouldn't go). Second, do NOT use preshredded cheese; preshredded cheese has corn starch in it to prevent sticking. However, this also inhibits melting ability. I like to use my food processor for the shredding because it speeds up the process, you can certainly do it by hand though. You'll need 11-12 oz of cheese- you pick the kinds. I went with a combo of chipotle cheddar (that was screaming at me from the Target cold box) and sharp white cheddar; it provided a nice spicy and smoky flavor. I could imagine that any combo of cheddars and colby jack would also work well.

Don't worry, I also loaded up the soup with a number of different veggies so we could get some good nutrients as well.

And to make it even better I served it in a pretzel bread bowl. What goes better with beer than pretzels? Check back later for that recipe. For now just enjoy this.

Chipotle Cheddar Ale Soup
3 pieces bacon, chopped
2 small potatoes, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 tbsp fresh thyme, diced
2 tbsp flour
1 bottle (12 oz) brown ale (such as Newcastle)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half and half
8 oz chipotle cheddar cheese
3 oz sharp white cheddar cheese
extra slices of jalapeno, for garnish
diced parsley, for garnish

Finely grate the cheese using a food processor (or a hand grater).

Cook the bacon in a dutch oven over medium heat until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Add the potato, celery, carrot, onion, jalapeno, red pepper, garlic and thyme to the bacon grease in the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the flour and stir until starts to brown, about 2-3 minutes.

Whisk in the beer, followed by the chicken broth. Finally whisk in the half and half. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes until thickened slightly.

Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the cheese, one handful at a time, until melted.

Serve (in a pretzel bowl, if desired), topped with the bacon, jalapeno slices and parsley.

Serves 4.


  1. OMG, this looks amazing! I can't wait for the pretzel bread bowl recipe to have both of them together :)